Herbs and Spices can enliven your cooking with out added fat. Simple herb salts like this one can play well with lamb, beef, chicken and pork. It’s also terrific on roasted potatoes. Mix it into softened butter or olive oil to roast a chicken or sprinkle over barley. You’re getting the picture, right? True utility player.

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One of the best ways to perk up your cooking is with fresh herbs and spices. But what about dried? We always worry they’ve been kicking around the spice cabinet too long. Often, we are correct.

Here’s a post with tips on various spice blends as well as links to some great resources. One of my new favorites, is inspired by Lynn Rosetto Kasper’s Splendid Table.

I call it Tuscan Garlic & Herb Salt. I use quite a bit less salt than her recipe calls for and it’s heavenly on a roast chicken (place a little with butter under the skin), with pork, or potatoes. It’s so simple to make, and your hands and house will smell divine in the process. Try it with these proportions and adjust to your own tastes.

The technique could not be simpler:

  • Take one bunch of fresh rosemary, one of fresh sage, about 4-5 good sized cloves of garlic and about 1/4 C of Kosher salt.
  • Peel the garlic cloves, removing any green sprouts (they indicate the garlic is a bit old and they’ll add bitterness.)
  • Pick the sage leaves from their stems, zip the rosemary leaves off their woody stems by pinching and dragging in the opposite direction from how the grow (tip backwards).
  • Give your garlic a few rough chops and begin adding herbs and salt. Chop, chop, chop with a good sharp knife, holding the tip down with one hand and bringing the handle of the knife up and down — much like one of those old school paper cutters.
  • Dry out on the counter on a cookie sheet for a couple of days or overnight in the oven with the light on/or if you have a dehydrating function set to low.

It’s done when it’s no longer moist. This time will vary depending on the method you use and where you live.

Store in a pretty little jar, or any old jar, but just try it. I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

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Now, get chopping! Need to brush up those knife skills? We’ve got you covered with Kitchen Confidence!

 

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Doing my part – in June – speaking at the first annual Food Allergy Research & Education conference in Chicago.

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Here’s the conference schedule and my speaker page.

 

 

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That’s right, 15 million Americans are living with food allergies.
That’s 15 million reasons to get educated about keeping people with food allergies safe and included.

I’m looking forward to meeting some of the experts whose research I’ve been following since my diagnosis, hearing what’s new and learning from others how my training, consulting and writing can help. With allergies on the rise, more of us are touched in one way or another:

  • grappling with our own food allergies,
  • learning to cook for family members with allergies or
  • understanding how to safely serve customers with food allergies.

 

Read my article in the Washington Post to learn what it’s like to negotiate minefields when dining out – imagine if one careless gesture by server or chef can result in illness or death for you or your loved one.

If you’re a chef or restaurant owner or manager and want to learn how I can help you train staff –Email Me.

To receive your free Ten Points of Liability Checklist, complete this form. 

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Dried Herbs and Spices – Homemade Blends and Resources

March 19, 2014

People, here’s the thing: we all do it. You pick up a spice intending to make some new dish that will dazzle…and you just don’t get around to it. Or, you do, but then it wasn’t dazzling enough to become a regular thing and here it is six months or maybe a year or two […]

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Inexpensive kitchen tool you’ll use every day. Essential Kitchen Equipment: Bench Scrapers

February 14, 2014

Essential Kitchen Equipment is an occasional series on items I think every well-run kitchen should have. Essential Kitchen Equipment posts are not about the latest gadget. I’m talking about maybe a dozen or so simple items you must have to make your kitchen hum. Of course one could spend endless amounts on all sorts of fancy equipment […]

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Wordless Wednesday – Napa Cabbage

February 12, 2014
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Sobremesa “over the table” stories and laughs: the very best part of the meal

January 30, 2014

I had planned a Japanese meal in my head. I really did. Little braised meatballs made with okara, nimono soy-simmered vegetables, hakkusai with yuzu kosho, rice, miso soup…my favorite matcha panna cotta. Then a little bug (me) a sprained foot (him) got in the way of the shopping. As I began to mull over alternative […]

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Dead Easy Chocolate Snack Cake – Spiked with Chile

January 29, 2014

When I was freshly diagnosed with my dairy allergy, I was lamenting to a friend that my days of cake were behind me. Not so fast, she said. You’ve gotta try this recipe for “Amazon Cake.” No dairy needed. Well, I’ve no idea what part of the “Amazon” this thing hails from, but tongue firmly […]

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Five Steps to Wok Star Status (and One Seriously Good Cookbook)

January 28, 2014

I have a confession to make. I had all but forgotten my wok skills. I lost my wok in one of many moves. I settled in to married life steps from Chinatown’s Paifang (gate) and it just always seemed easier to go to a restaurant than to get another wok, season it, then chop, prep, […]

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Wrap up of our iPhoneography Oyster Century Club Event

January 22, 2014
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Happy New Year 2014 – Hope and Resolutions

January 3, 2014

On this side of the first storm of the year, we’re hunkered down, cooking and baking and grateful for our work-at-home status. We’ve got about one foot of snow so far and north of the city (where Doc works) they got two feet! I guess I missed my opportunity to empty the pots and clean […]

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